Sony has pulled the PlayStation 3 update 4.45 after it caused a "small number" of machines to be bricked. Sony is unsure of why this happened but is investigating the issue. Meanwhile, Sony encourages users to wait for an official fix rather than trying to fix it themselves.
This could put a damper on the positive press that Sony has been receiving after E3 from the media and gamers alike. One gamer wrote, "You'd think they test these things out, right?" Unfortunately for gamers, Sony has limited resources and time to test updates. Considering it has only affected a "small number" globally, it's unlikely they would have caught it, even with extensive testing.
Sony will hopefully find the problem--and a fix for those affected--quickly. Until then, Sony asks that you wait for an official fix and adds that it "apologizes for the inconvenience."
Microsoft has decided to reverse course on their controversial DRM requirements that have drawn heavy criticism from gamers and the media alike. Microsoft has confirmed reports by other media outlets that the 24-hour check-in policy has been dropped, along with various other changes.
Microsoft probably explains it best:
So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that means:
An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games - After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today - There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.
In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console - there will be no regional restrictions.
GameStop has officially stopped accepting pre-orders for the upcoming Xbox One because they have hit their limit. What's interesting about this is that it shows that Microsoft may not be having too much of an issue selling the Xbox One, despite numerous issues raised by the media and still unanswered by Microsoft. GameStop is still taking pre-orders for the PlayStation 4, however.
So, is the Xbox One truly that hot of a commodity? It would appear that it's not. Microsoft has given way fewer allocations to the individual stores than Sony has given PS4 allocations. For instance, one store that received just 16 Xbox One units also received 60 PlayStation 4 units. It's not clear whether Microsoft is facing supply issues or if they are attempting to make the illusion that the Xbox One is popular.
If you are interested in getting the Xbox One, GameStop will no longer accept pre-orders unless they receive a larger allocation. You might want to get your pre-order in with someone who still has units while they still have those units.
Sony recently released a firmware patch for its PlayStation 3 console. Normally this is not too noteworthy, but this latest patch is rendering the consoles dead in the water. Sony has taken the patch down, but just in case do not download any update or patches with a version number of 4.45.
The patch was originally supposed to add support for turning off achievements and trophy notifications, however after updating and rebooting, many users found that their PS3 would no longer boot into the main menu of the console. A smaller portion of users reported that they were not able to even turn off the box after the update and the only option was to pull the power cable.
Sony has released a statement to address users who have been affected by the problem:
"We are aware of reports that the recent PlayStation 3 system software update (version 4.45) has caused the XMB to not display on a small number of PS3 systems. We have temporarily taken 4.45 offline and are investigating the cause of the problem. We will announce when the system update is available for download as soon as possible. We apologise for the inconvenience."
The video game industry continues to flounder ahead of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 going on sale later this year. Data from NPD Group shows that retail sales of hardware, software, and gaming accessories fell around 25 percent to $386.3 million during May.
Also included in the data is the fact that the Nintendo 3DS outsold the Xbox 360, making it the top selling platform across hardware and portables. Software sales for the 3DS were up 60 percent year-over-year.
Despite poor sales, Nintendo has said that it has no plans to drop the price of the Wii U.
Likely as another shot at Microsoft, Sony has confirmed that PS Plus will not be required for PlayStation 4 users interested in using the social aspects, entertainment apps, or auto-updates. Xbox 360 users will know that Xbox Live Gold is required for Netflix, Hulu, and social aspects of the console.
It's possible that streaming PlayStation 3 games to the PS4 may require PS Plus, but it seems like that is still up in the air. Unlike the PlayStation 3 which required PS Plus for automatic updates, PlayStation 4 users will find that they get this feature for free.
It seems like some of the PS Plus details for the PlayStation 4 are still under discussion inside the company and are subject to change. This would explain why Sony has detailed the system and PS Plus fully. PS Plus will apply across the PlayStation 3 and 4 for no extra charge.
The true next-gen consoles were fully unveiled in the last couple of weeks in the form of Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One, but Nintendo's Wii U is still here, right now - but sales aren't doing well.
Gamers have been hoping for Nintendo to drop the price on the Wii U, but during an interview with VentureBeat last week, Nintendo marketing executive Scott Moffit said that Nintendo have "no plans to change the price of the Wii U." He added that the Wii U is "great value" for gamers, expecting sales to increase once some shiny new Nintendo games are released - such as Mario, Zelda and Super Smash Bros.
Microsoft has taken to the web to defend its $499 price point for the upcoming Xbox One. Many have faulted Microsoft's price point as it is $100 more than the PlayStation 4, which is believed to have more powerful hardware and fewer drawbacks such as always-on DRM requirements.
We're over-delivering value against other choices I think consumers can get. Any modern product these days, you look at it: $499 isn't a ridiculous price point. We're delivering thousands of dollars of value to people, so, I think they're going to love [the console] when they use it.
I'm not fully versed in the economics of the console market, but it's possible that an extra $100 might not be enough to turn away customers. Also an important factor in console choice is what games each console has as exclusives. Microsoft has an uphill battle ahead of them.
Microsoft has confirmed that games for the upcoming Xbox One will continue to cost the usual $60 that everyone has become accustomed to. This is the same price that Sony plans to offer games at. Of course, this price is only confirmed for first-party games developed by Microsoft Studios.
I can confirm that Microsoft Studios games on Xbox One will be $59.99 (MSRP)
Sony America CEO Jack Tretton: "We're going to welcome free-to-play models, games from $.99 up to those $60 games."
It would be hard for third-party companies to price their games higher, though it certainly is possible. Microsoft is in need of some good press with many seeing the Windows giant as having lost the console wars. Microsoft will continue needing good press in the lead up to the Xbox One launch later this year.
I think the line in the sand has been drawn with next-gen consoles, but just how far back as Microsoft been pushed? Well, according to a poll run by Amazon on their Facebook page, Microsoft are really losing this war, by a long shot.
They asked readers which next-gen console they prefer, the PS4 or the Xbox One and the results are absolutely huge. The PS4 has 31,689 votes and the Xbox One has just 1,754 votes - yes that is not a mistake. Of course, this doesn't mean that the PS4 is going to be 20x more popular, or make 20x the sales - but this is an interesting statistic. This doesn't mean the Xbox One is finished, but it'll be interesting to see where things sit in a couple of years from now.
All I know is that I would've bought an Xbox One on launch if there was a killer app, but nothing I've seen makes me want one. The built-in Kinect sensor being always-on kind of turns me off, and isn't something I want sitting in my house. I like that Sony at least gives you the option, which is definitely the right move.
The final box art for the next-gen consoles has been released by Microsoft and Sony. It doesn't look too bad at all, but I think Microsoft can at least have props for having the better box art this generation. First up, we have the Xbox One box:
Not bad, eh? Nice and to the point, with a great shot of the controller on the side. The PlayStation 4 box art we have below:
I think we have a lot of wasted space on the left side - and just a quick tease of the console. I'd really like to see an up-close shot of the PS4 instead of the floating shapes. Oh well, that's not my job now, is it? What are your thoughts on the box art of the next-gen consoles?
Microsoft are having to go into some serious damage control post-E3 2013, as the Xbox One is really losing steam with gamers. Xbox Live director of programming, Major Nelson, took to Reddit in r/games and during an interview answered the following question:
After the Xbox One servers are shut down at the end of the new generation, will Xbox One games still be playable?
Interesting question, which should have an interesting answer, right? Well, Nelson answered with:
I'll just say this: We haven't even started this generation, so it's kind of early to talk about the end of the generation. That's certainly something we would not do. That's not the way the system is designed. It's designed for flexibility. But let's get the system out there first.
This is Microsoft talking now, but what about in 5 or 10 years time? The Xbox 360 games can't be played on the Xbox One, which is kinda of sucky for people who have pumped thousands of dollars into their current console. I guess we'll see in a few years time, but right now I have no confidence in Microsoft. Especially if your account gets banned you lose your games...
Microsoft have just dug a few more inches of their own grave for the Xbox One by stating that if you get banned from Xbox Live on the new Xbox One, you'll also "forfeit the licenses to any games that have licenses tired to it as listed in the ToU."
This means that if you get banned, you're pretty much handing over your physical discs to Microsoft. Of course, not everyone gets banned - but this is actually quite serious as you're having physical media get banned from the XBL service altogether. Microsoft, whatever you're smoking, you could make more money selling that than you will with the Xbox One.
We know that Sony 'won' the next-gen console war at E3 this year with their PlayStation 4, but it looks like this strong surge in interest might hurt consumers' dreams when it comes to purchasing a PS4 on day one.
Sony Computer Entertainment CEO, Andrew House, has said that PS4 "demand may well outstrip supply" after the huge presence the next-gen console made in the last week. He spoke with the Wall Street Journal where he said that Sony have raised their internal sales forecasts for the PS4 after the supremely positive feedback by tech sites, consumers and retails over the last week.
If you're living in a country where the Xbox One doesn't launch in at the end of the year and were thinking of importing, you might have to cancel those plans. It looks like Microsoft's next-gen console won't be supported in countries that it hasn't launched in yet, meaning imports are out of the question.
The question was tackled through Xbox Support through Twitter, where Gregor Ivezic asked if the "Xbox One will block activation of games if outside of the IP range of a supported country" to which @XboxSupport2 answered with "You'll be able to play when you return home. I travel with an Xbox 360 for road gaming."
The problem is, Japan isn't even getting the console at the end of the year, which is going to piss off a lot of Japanese gamers. It looks like Sony are going to be winning a huge war on this front, with the PlayStation 4 being region-free and all. "
Pretty much everyone was surprised this week when Microsoft announced a new redesigned Xbox 360 even though it planned to launch the next generation Xbox one just a few months from now. Not wasting any time, repair manual website iFixit, has just posted the world's first teardown of the Xbox 360 Model E.
IFixit notes that apart from a model name change, and cosmetic case updates, there is very little difference between the original Xbox 360 and the 360 E. It appears that the cosmetic changes were implemented to save on the cost of manufacturing the machine.
The costs saving measures include a redesign rear port area which cuts the A/V and S/PDIF ports from existence. Additionally Microsoft has removed one USB port from the back panel cutting the numbers down to just four. It appears that Microsoft used the exact same heat sink and cooling fan as the previous model which makes sense because they solve the RRoD issues with the S. Additionally the hard drive is easier to remove, but comes hermetically sealed inside a plastic case.
E3 2013 - At a demo given today, a Microsoft employee demonstrated how the new Kinect really stepped up the game when it comes to movement tracking technology. He went on to show off the cameras abilities with a 1080p full-color feed as well as what Microsoft is calling "Active IR", in which the Kinect sensor uses infrared light to enable you to play games using the sensor even at night time with the lights turned off.
The demo went on to display some high-definition skeletal renderings which could be used to control in game characters, participate in online exercise programs, and much more. During workout routines the Kinect would be able to demonstrate which muscles are getting the most workout as well as which positions offer specific body types the best workout.
E3 2013 - During Monday's Microsoft press conference the company announced that World of Tanks would be coming to Xbox 360. During his trip around E3 today TweakTown reporter Trace Hagan stop by the World of Tanks moves to check out some in game footage of the game being played on an Xbox 360.
As you can tell from the video while it looks good the graphics are not quite up to par with that of its PC counterpart, but that is expected from a 10-year-old console. Gameplay however, appear to be fluid and just as much fun as the PC version. WoT for the Xbox 360 is in open beta as we speak and should release to the retail market soon.
E3 2013 - During our visit to Nintendo's booth at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles California, we took a moment to stop by the Legend of Zelda Wind Waker HD Wii U demo, and were quite impressed to say the least. The Wii U version was running alongside the original version as to show off the advancement made in graphics between the two systems.
The game will be played like all the other Legend of Zelda titles, where players run around an open world, carry out quests and interact with the townsfolk and environment. The game has a very traditional look and feel to it, which should appease Zelda fans all over the world. The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker will be available this coming October for the Wii U.
E3 2013 - The original Xbox 360 design was attempt at making a stylish, sleek gaming console that would fit into the decor of any living room. In reality what happened was Microsoft designed a massive heat trap that eventually wound up killing many of the consoles after just a few months of use.
On Monday Microsoft announced that the Xbox 360 would be receiving its third redesign in an effort to more closely align the 360 with the aesthetics of the new Xbox One. We finally got a good look at the new 360 design thanks to our friends over at Gizmodo. The exterior refresh is a drastic step away from the Xbox 360 we have seen in the past, with a two-tone color scheme similar to the Xbox One.
The new Xbox 360 also appears to have ditched the power ring for a more modern machined metal design alongside adequate cooling vents placed in the side of the case. The vents appear to be placed directly over the CPU heatsink and additional vents have been placed on the top of the box. If you pick up one of these redesigned Xbox 360's post some pics on our Facebook wall!
E3 2013 - Trace Hagan stopped by Nintendo's Wii U booth at E3 to check out the upcoming Mario Kart 8, which is set to debut sometime in 2014. Fans of the series now have the option of using Wii U's motion-based controls or the conventional versions to participate in the better than ever on-track chaos. Motorcycles have returned to the mix of vehicles, as well the ability to get above ground with hovering karts and an anti-gravity feature that occasionally flips tracks upside down.
The whole game has been refined, but still retains its familiar feel gameplay is fast weapons are hilarious and the courses seem to get easier the more you have time to learn them. It appears that the entire range of characters have returned including Luigi, Peach, Donkey Kong, Bowser, Yoshi and Mario.